Crunch time in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill arrives at an event in Port Moresby in 2013. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Peter Drysdale, East Asia Forum

The talk in Canberra is that the priority in Australia’s diplomacy for 2015 will be its own backyard in the Pacific. This is long overdue, and may be too late. Mending diplomatic fences with Fiji may be one thing; Australia’s ability to have a positive impact on outcomes in Papua New Guinea is likely to be quite another thing altogether. Read more…

Is PNG heading for a crisis?

Papua New Guinea's Prime Minister Peter O'Neill waves upon arrival at Bali airport, Indonesia, to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in 2014. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Stephen Howes, ANU

Last year in Papua New Guinea was eventful, marked by a series of controversial government decisions.

In March, the government decided to take out a loan of about 3 billion kina (US$1.2 billion, about 8 per cent of GDP) to buy shares in Oil Search. Read more…

PNG’s exchange rate policy hurting the poor

A Papua New Guinean woman and her children dry coffee beans outside their house in the Western Highlands, Nebilyer Valley. (Photo: AAP).

Author: Paul Flanagan, ANU

Earlier this year, Papua New Guinea moved away from a market-based exchange rate. It seemed just a technical announcement at the time. The central bank indicated that the exchange rate would float within a narrow band around the interbank exchange rate. However, this seemingly innocuous announcement has major implications for PNG’s future development. Read more…

Is PNG’s Westminster system worth keeping?

Voters queue up at a polling place in Papua New Guinea's Southern Highlands at the start of the country's 11-day polling period in Det 2 village on 30 June, 2007.  (Photo: AAP)

Author: Sean Jacobs, New Guinea Commerce

The Papua New Guinea Constitutional Law Reform Commission (CLRC) is currently scrutinising the viability of PNG’s Westminster system of government. PNG has persisted with a Westminster system since before its independence in 1975. Read more…

Are you being served? The service sector in development

A vendor arranges baskets of fresh chilli at a local market in downtown Hanoi. Informal markets could provide as much as 80 per cent of Hanoi’s food supply. (Photo: AAP)

Author: John Conroy, ANU

The role of the service sector in development has been discussed in two recent posts on East Asia Forum. Batten and Mellor’s article examined service sector activities in Vietnam and Papua New Guinea (PNG), two countries where the service sector makes up a lower share of economic activity than the ASEAN average.

Read more…

Services as a driver of Asia’s economic growth

The services industry is the most rapidly growing component of international trade, connecting trade in goods to international investment flows in highly sophisticated networks of value chains in the most dynamic parts of the international economy. (Photo: AAP)

Author: Peter Drysdale, Editor, East Asia Forum

Services industries are a feature of modern, rich economies. High levels of professional skill and research and innovative capability, and the educational and commercial infrastructure that underpin them, make the difference between middle-income and really high-income economies. Read more…

Harnessing services for growth in Vietnam and PNG

Tourists ride cyclos in the Old Quarter neighborhood in Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam and PNG have yet to fully harness the opportunities of a vibrant services sector. (Photo: AAP)

Authors: Aaron Batten and Dominic Mellor, ADB

In spite of their institutional, economic and demographic differences, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea (PNG) share something in common: neither have managed to fully harness the opportunities of a vibrant services sector. Read more…